Mrs. Patmore, after giving Ethel some final words of advice, tells her she's done well and then adds that maybe Ethel has done herself a favor, meaning that there's someone besides Isobel and Mrs. Hughes who doesn't see anything but shame when she looks at her. Ethel expresses her gratitude and they really have done quite a job with the evolution of this character from the callow thing she was when she first appeared. Regardless of that, out on the street, Carson happens to catch sight of Mrs. Patmore emerging from Crawley House and looks like he's going to explode. I don't know if he's invested in his own separate Indigno-Meter, but if he and Lord Grantham have to share one, I think the thing's not going to last long.
It's time for a glum little confab in the prison and when Murray tells Anna and Bates that someone must have tipped Mrs. Bartlett off, Bates grimly says he thinks he knows who it was. Murray offers the opinion that it's a big thing for "a woman like that" to lie to a lawyer and I'm not sure if by "like that" he means a religious woman, an economically challenged woman or a woman named after a pear. Whichever the case, Bates wonders if she was bribed or intimidated. Murray replies that they can't offer her a bribe (Anna manages not to look too guilty here), but wonders if they can persuade her "to return to the path of truth," like, let's not make too grand a deal about it, Murray. It's just Bates. Bates says he'll see what he can do and when Anna tells him to promise that he won't do anything stupid, he completely ignores her, which is hilarious. Keep that up and we'll be friends, Bates.
Ethel is just cleaning up when Isobel bursts into the kitchen and says she doesn't understand -- she can smell cooking and her level of distress at the idea is seriously enough to send me into a giggling fit. Ethel assures her that everything is fine, but when the bell rings, Isobel tells her that if the lunch is a disaster, she'll hold Ethel responsible. I love how all Isobel's efforts at subtlety over Ethel's cooking have been abandoned just when Ethel has gotten the situation under control.
Mrs. Patmore steps out of the kitchen to see Carson and Mrs. Hughes, the former of whom asks what she was doing at Crawley House that morning. Mrs. Patmore asks who said she was there, but when Carson tells her he saw her himself, she's like, "Oh. I see." Hee. After he lectures her, Mrs. Hughes steps in and says it's probably beyond his purview to "dress down" Mrs. Patmore in this way, to which he replies that if she wants to spend her time "frolicking with prostitutes," it's her business. Mrs. Patmore: "Do I look like a frolicker?" She's got you there, Carson. He asks who is expected at the luncheon, and thanks to his attitude Mrs. Patmore is only too happy to inform him of the exalted guest list, to which Carson proclaims himself "speechless" before making himself scarce. Mrs. Hughes sighs that he won't stay speechless for long and Mrs. Patmore's answering grunt is at least more polite than saying "No shit," but the meaning is identical.